The new tyre could be introduced later this season, but Pirelli are wary of making a change in case it is perceived to give one team an advantage in a championship which, so far, has been very close.
Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “Silverstone is one of the most iconic circuits on the Formula One calendar, precisely because it is so demanding for the drivers, cars and tyres. This is why we have chosen to test a new experimental hard compound here during free practice, which we may use in the future.
“The new tyre has a slightly wider working range, which should make it easier for the teams to get the tyres into the right operating temperature window.
“But with the championship so finely balanced, our priority is to ensure that no one team is handed any particular advantage. We want to keep the performance of the tyres at the highest level for as long as possible, so this is a valuable opportunity for ourselves and all the teams to gather more information about the potential effect of a new compound, and gain some data for the future.”
Each driver will have one set of the tyres in addition to their usual allocation, which this weekend are the hard and soft tyres.
Pirelli test driver Lucas di Grassi said: “I tested the experimental hard compound tyre in Jerez earlier this year: it’s a similar concept to the current hard but with improved combined grip and better wear.
“It’s particularly effective in warm weather and when the track conditions are poor – so you end up with a tyre that is quicker and lasts longer.”
2012 British Grand Prix
- Second Driver of the Weekend win for Mark Webber
- Rate the race result: 2012 British Grand Prix
- Hamilton’s doughnut and more fans’ videos from Silverstone
- Silverstone fans’ mixed views on the rain-hit weekend
- Top three tie in British predictions round
Image © Pirelli/LAT